From the time I left the house trying to avoid the snow storm that was raging throughout Upstate NY, or maybe it was even before that, I been working on acceptance. Mostly because I’ve found its the best way for me to stay grounded and balanced and in a good state of mind.
The best way for me to be able show my soul.
One of the first things Dahn told me about India was that you couldn’t really expect your plans to work out as you imagined. That things work out the way they were meant to.
I got it when she said that to me. And I’ve had plenty of opportunities to practice it since deciding to go to India. (and I do mean practice, as in repeating an action to trying and improve it).
And of course this is a life lesson, not just applicable to this trip.
Now that I’m here, I can see that there are plenty of opportunities to practice acceptance in India. Even in the simple things, like getting someplace on time. When you ask someone how long it take to get to specific place, it’s not unusual for them to answer, a half hour or two hours.
So when I found out yesterday, that I wouldn’t be teaching the girls at the Women’s Interlink Foundation how to sew potholders, I was disappointed, but not surprised.
I believed this was the reason for my coming to India. It was my expectation to fulfill it. The reason that people donated money so that I could make the trip.
There were plans in place, vague though they were.
I sent a list of materials so we’d have what we’d need to make the potholders when I got there. Dahn sent me fabric from Africa to bring with me for the girls to use.
Like sand falling between my fingers the plans (oh plans) sifted slowly away as the day progressed. I can’t even grasp exactly what happened. Just that it didn’t happen.
I was told that the girls who sew usually work from a pattern. And that they sometimes do patchwork, so I guess they don’t need me to show them my way of making patchwork potholders. Which may or may not be the same way they make patchwork.
So I let myself be disappointed. Let myself feel it and process it.
And at the same time I began thinking of the good that will come from my trip, the purpose of it even if I don’t get to teach any potholder making.
Maybe the idea of making potholders was enough. The women at the Women’s Interlink Foundation may use it in their own way and if it benefits them, then I’ve already been helpful.
Because that’s what this trip was born from. The idea of wanting to help in my own way. In the way that I can.
But maybe, I just don’t know exactly what that way is yet. Maybe the potholders got me on the path and now I have to be open enough to accept where that path leads me.
I can see that bringing the tote bags and fabric markers turned out better than I thought.
It was the tote bags that I had little expectations for. Yet they were able to bring to the girls the same thing the potholders would bring. The freedom that can come with creating.
I’m also aware of keeping my ego in check. Reminding myself that, as good as it makes me feel, ultimately this isn’t about me. It’s about helping the girls. And they have to come first.
So at the end of the day, I gave the fabric that Dahn sent me from Africa to girls of the Women’s Interlink Foundation. I also gave them the thread and straight pins that Kenna sent for them. And they oohed and aahed over the beaded sewing stillettos that Shirley made for them.
There’s still the possibility that I’ll be teaching potholder making at one of the other places we visit. We’re here for another week.
But I’m looking forward, as much, to see what else comes about. Opening myself up to the unknown possibilities. The things I haven’t even imagined yet.
And that’s true creative freedom.